My Turn: Millennials support stable energy policies

For the Monitor
Saturday, December 30, 2017

As recently stated in the final report from the Governor’s Millennial Advisory Council, clean tech represents a vital opportunity for millennials to thrive in New Hampshire’s 21st-century economy. Critical to the development and expansion of the clean tech industry are stable, long-term energy policies.

Two prime examples include the Renewable Portfolio Standards, which set targets for acquiring our energy from clean, local, renewable resources, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a market-based carbon cap and trade program. These well-established, successful policies are under attack by two bills to be voted on next week: House bills 114 and 592.

HB 114 would freeze the RPS at today’s levels, hindering the innovation and job growth coming from our clean energy sectors. The clean tech sector provides more than 2,000 well-paying New Hampshire jobs. These jobs are helping our state to build a more energy independent future. If HB 114 were to pass, the negative impact on clean energy development would increase New Hampshire’s dependence on imported, volatile natural gas and create the need for more unwanted pipelines.

HB 592 would divert RGGI funding away from energy efficiency, the cheapest form of energy. This would prevent more homeowners and businesses from investing in energy efficiency and raise prices for all customers in the long run. This bill will result in N.H. ratepayers paying more for the regional energy market as other surrounding states reduce their portion of costs through energy efficiency programs.

The RPS and RGGI are smart, market-based policy tools that are helping to guide our evolving energy market toward competition, efficiency and New Hampshire-based energy resources. These policies have far-reaching economic benefits to our state. As a believer in efficient and competitive markets, and as a young professional excited to contribute to New Hampshire’s growing clean energy work force, I support the RPS and RGGI as they stand.

(Henry Herndon lives in Dover.)